What Is Hyperhidrosis?
Here’s the quick definition; scroll down for a more complete explanation. Hyperhidrosis is excessive sweating. It affects three percent of the world population. It most often occurs on the hands and feet. In people with hyperhidrosis, the body overreacts to stimuli and causes the sweat glands to be overactive, kind of like a faucet that won’t turn off. Many people with this condition don’t realize they have it, or that it even has a recognized medical name. Why? Because there is a lot of shame and embarrassment involved; patients don’t speak up or think it’s a serious enough problem to even mention, so the amount of information out there isn’t to the level it should be like it is for more mainstream medical conditions. I’m here to tell you that you don’t have to be embarrassed or ashamed of your medical condition. There is hope for hyperhidrosis.
I’m a passionate writer, editor, and hyperhidrosis survivor. I’ve lived with hyperhidrosis all of my life and offer a unique perspective on a condition that can be mentally, socially, and professionally debilitating. Yet I shine on, knowing there is a deeper purpose to my life that involves being exactly who I am. Through my blog I am creating hyperhidrosis hope and awareness one drop at a time, living my truth, and making others feel like they are not alone. My story is your story.
With 14 years’ experience working in the health care field as a Certified Pharmacy Technician (CPhT), medical editor, and medical writing web specialist, I have a vast knowledge of both Eastern and Western medicine and how these modalities can contribute to the treatment of hyperhidrosis. Having tried nearly every known treatment to cure my hyperhidrosis, I’ve learned that it may not be what you put into your body so much as the thoughts you allow into your mind that can improve the quality of your life. It is my passion for the written word that has truly allowed me to transcend my condition and bring fellow sufferers tips for and triumphs over hyperhidrosis.
I encourage others to let their sweating angst out by talking about it, writing about it, feeling it, and then letting it go. The truth will set you free. Stop hiding from hyperhidrosis. You don’t become who you are because of what you tell the universe you DON’T want. You become who you were meant to be by telling the universe what you DO want and by living authentically in the direction of your dreams. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it. There is hope for people who have hyperhidrosis.
Complete Definition of HH1
In some people, the body’s mechanism for cooling itself is overactive—so overactive that they may sweat four or five times more than is necessary, or normal. When sweating is this extreme it can be embarrassing, uncomfortable, anxiety-inducing, and disabling. It can disrupt all aspects of a person’s life, from career choices and recreational activities to relationships, emotional well-being, and self-image.
This kind of excessive sweating is a serious medical condition. It’s called hyperhidrosis and it afflicts millions of people around the world (approximately 3% of the population) but because of lack of awareness, more than half of these people are never diagnosed or treated for their symptoms.
Sweat is essential to human survival and serves as the body’s coolant, protecting it from overheating.
There are two to four million sweat glands distributed all over our bodies. The majority of them are “eccrine” sweat glands, which are found in large numbers on the soles of the feet, the palms, the forehead and cheeks, and in the armpits.
Eccrine glands secrete an odorless, clear fluid that helps the body to control its temperature by promoting heat loss through evaporation. In general, the type of sweat involved in hyperhidrosis is eccrine sweat.
The other type of sweat gland is called an “apocrine” gland. Apocrine glands are found in the armpits and genital region. They produce a thick fluid. When this fluid comes in contact with bacteria on the skin’s surface, it produces a characteristic potent “body odor”.
Both the eccrine and apocrine sweat glands are activated by nerves. These nerves respond to a variety of stimuli including:
- messages from the brain indicating that the body is too hot
- physical activity or exercise.
In people who have excessive sweating, or hyperhidrosis, the sweat glands (eccrine glands in particular) overreact to stimuli and are just generally overactive, producing more sweat than is necessary. It’s often said that people with hyperhidrosis have sweat glands that are stuck in the “on” position.
- The International Hyperhidrosis Society. www.sweathelp.org. Accessed July 13, 2011.
(This blog, its corresponding facebook page, and any information discussed herein is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. When seeking treatment, all decisions should be discussed with a licensed health care professional. The author does not assume any liability or responsibility for the decisions made by those who might read this blog.)
Unless otherwise cited, all material on this blog is the original work of the blog owner. Copyright © 2011 My Life as a Puddle